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The first pictorial history of Helena, Alabama, this new volume traces the progress of a small crossroads village into one of the state’s most vibrant and rapidly growing cities. Helena’s story is one of extraordinary strength and perseverance. The community has braved numerous blows, including the onslaught of 10,000 Union troopers, a devastating tornado, and the decline of its once successful iron and coal industries. With nearly 200 imagesmany previously unpublishedHelena, Alabama introduces the area’s early settlers and reveals a community grown wealthy on the fortunes gouged from the earth at nearby coal mining camps. From education to recreation, from farming to industrial progress, discover the way of life in Helena as it was experienced long ago. Collected over a 30-year period, the photographs in this collection are indeed rare treasures. Many of the images featured have been gathered from such diverse sources as a steamer trunk in an attic in Oregon, a St. Clair County yard sale, a dilapidated barn along Buck Creek, and from carefully preserved family albums from California to McCalla, Alabama.
About the Author
Helena native Ken Penhale is the president of the Shelby County Historical Society. The author of An Early History of Helena, Alabama, he is a 24-year employee of American Cast Iron Pipe Company and a member of the Helena Design Review Committee for historic redevelopment. Martin Everse, author of The Ironworks at Brierfield and parks administrator for the Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission, has spent the past 20 years researching the industrial history of central Alabama. In Helena, Alabama, Penhale and Everse have combined their extensive knowledge of their community’s past to create a unique tribute for readers of all ages to enjoy.